In campaigns around the country, Democratic candidates and committees are advertising on behalf of more extreme independent opponents in the hopes of dividing the Republican vote, Politico reports.

Some of the ads cleverly represent themselves as critiques, while using iconography and text designed to appeal to the Republicans to whom they are consciously sent. For instance, one mailer places the following text over a scenic vista and waving American flag: “We need to act boldly to turn our economy around … but if Gregory Gilman gets to Congress, his first act would be to drastically reduce the size of government.”

Politico via Political Wire:

Behind-the-scenes collaboration between local Democratic officials and tea party activists in a handful of isolated races has already been reported — just last week, in suburban Pennsylvania’s open 7th District, Democratic nominee Bryan Lentz finally admitted his campaign’s role in helping a tea party candidate get on the November ballot after months of avoiding the question.

But the divide-and-conquer strategy has become more widespread — and coordinated — through television ads, robocalls and mailers in recent weeks as races have tightened and it’s become more apparent that just a few percentage points could end up swinging the outcome in many races.

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